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6 hurtful words you should stop using, according to a psychiatrist

INSIDER Logo By Lindsay Dodgson of INSIDER | Slide 1 of 8: 
  
    We use harmful, negative labels to describe ourselves
    and others.
  
  
    Words like selfish, stupid, spoiled, and lazy are all
    used casually.
  
  
    But they can be more damaging than we realise.
  
  
    Often, we use these words because they're easier than
    examining the real issue.
  
  
    Here are the six terms, and what they really mean when
    we say them.
  

  It's a curse of humanity that we are often highly critical of
  ourselves. We don't tend to give ourselves the same sympathy and
  understanding we are willing to provide others.

  For example, you might feel shame over something that happened
  way back in your distant past, when you were a child. Nobody else
  is likely to judge you for decisions you made in your younger
  years, but for some reason, you hang on to it for years, or even
  decades.

  
    Read more: Being 'anti-fragile' in times of
  pain is just as important as being resilient - here's what that
  means

  In a blog post for Psychology
  Today, psychiatrist Grant Hilary Brenner wrote about the
  corrosive habits people develop in how they relate to themselves,
  and others. Some labels, for instance, come from toxic places.

  Brenner identified six words we shouldn't use, because they are
  "accompanied by feelings of moral judgment, hatred and utter
  rejection."

  "Rather than understanding the nuance and creating bridges for
  understanding and communication, such labeling reflects
  underlying either-or thinking, generally fragmenting us apart
  from ourselves and each other in an act of linguistic violence,"
  he wrote. "These are dividing words, misunderstanding concepts,
  rather than language which joins and deepens mutuality and
  self-relationship."

  Here are the six terms, and what they really mean when we say
  them:

  • We use harmful, negative labels to describe ourselves and others.
  • Words like selfish, stupid, spoiled, and lazy are all used casually.
  • But they can be more damaging than we realise.
  • Often, we use these words because they're easier than examining the real issue.
  • Here are the six terms, and what they really mean when we say them.

It's a curse of humanity that we are often highly critical of ourselves. We don't tend to give ourselves the same sympathy and understanding we are willing to provide others.

For example, you might feel shame over something that happened way back in your distant past, when you were a child. Nobody else is likely to judge you for decisions you made in your younger years, but for some reason, you hang on to it for years, or even decades. 

In a blog post for Psychology Today, psychiatrist Grant Hilary Brenner wrote about the corrosive habits people develop in how they relate to themselves, and others. Some labels, for instance, come from toxic places.

Brenner identified six words we shouldn't use, because they are "accompanied by feelings of moral judgment, hatred and utter rejection."

"Rather than understanding the nuance and creating bridges for understanding and communication, such labeling reflects underlying either-or thinking, generally fragmenting us apart from ourselves and each other in an act of linguistic violence," he wrote. "These are dividing words, misunderstanding concepts, rather than language which joins and deepens mutuality and self-relationship."

Click through this slideshow to see the six terms, and what they really mean when we say them.

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